Regardless of your personal preference with staying up to date on enhancements in mainstream technology, few would have missed the advancements that have taken place in the field of televised and online entertainment over the last decade. Once confined to a limited choice in what they could view and how they could interact with TV services, today’s consumers are instead likely to be contemplating whether they should sign into an array of personal content streaming accounts such as Netflix or Amazon Prime in order to fulfil their entertainment needs. Such platforms even take the concept of choice and personalization a step further by offering viewing suggestions based on previous user viewing history.
Yet within the hospitality industry and as with other new technologies, hoteliers have traditionally been slow to adapt to evolving consumer entertainment preferences. This has resulted in a growing disparity between what guests are accustomed to when viewing content at home, versus the in-room entertainment options they typically find in hotel guestrooms around the world.
Seeking to better understand what today’s hotel guests are looking for when it comes to in-room entertainment, a recent Hotel Internet Services (HIS) survey study significantly identified the importance that guests place on their ability to continue streaming personalized content while traveling. With more than 500 guests taking part in the survey, 64 percent in fact disclosed their preference for being able to access such content on a guestroom television. Conversely, more than half of respondents indicated a disinterest in using traditional video-on-demand services, with several sharing the same opinion that such services are expensive and unnecessary, given the ability to stream entertainment on mobile devices.
Some properties have tried to resolve this issue by implementing televisions with built-in apps or set-top boxes with apps that allow guests to log into personal streaming accounts. Yet, the reality is that many guests feel a sense of unease from the idea of inputting sensitive information into a device that is shared with countless others. In fact, 95 percent of respondents in the HIS survey indicated such a concern. Further reducing the value of such televisions is the lack of opportunity that exists for properties to create sources of in-room revenue. This can leave hoteliers often wondering if any solution actually exists that allows them to catch up to evolving guest standards while also providing a means to at least cover the cost of investment.
However, by again looking to advancements in home technology and changes in consumer behaviour, we can see a growing demand for multifunctional devices that—along with offering the ability to wirelessly cast streamed content to televisions—also provide a host of other valuable functionalities. These can include the ability to make purchases online, order food for delivery or allowing for more convenient control of household amenities such as lighting or thermostats. Likewise within the hospitality industry, guests are indicating their preference for a more comprehensive platform that not only caters to their desire for streaming personalized content, but that also improves overall convenience and enhances their hotel stay experience. For example, 42 percent of survey respondents further indicated that they would also like to use the same casting platform to order services such as in-room dining. Another 36 percent stated that they would like the ability to make on-site dinner reservations, while an additional 39 percent would want to leverage a system that allows them to easily locate information on available hotel services, such as gym or spa hours. Further enhancing guest convenience while potentially reducing labour costs, is the fact that 52 percent of respondents also wanted to be able to check out or view their bill via guestroom television.
More recently, the growing presence of virtual assistants and voice control technology in daily life has also substantially influenced how guests expect to be able to interact with hotel amenities such as guestroom televisions. This trend is further demonstrated with the HIS survey revealing that 60 percent of respondents desired such functionality in order to control television functions without needing a remote control. Again reflecting what is occurring in consumer homes, an additional 59 percent also wanted a comprehensive platform to include voice control over guestroom lighting while another 65 percent wanted to use their voice to manage thermostat settings.
Such findings reinforce the notion that today’s guests expect hoteliers to offer the same level of technology when it comes to entertainment and convenience that has now been available to them for several years. With reputable solution providers now able to equip hoteliers with platforms that not only cater to such needs but that also provide properties with additional revenue streams, hoteliers can always ensure that their guests are satisfied with their guestroom entertainment experience while guaranteeing that any investment is always more than worth the cost.
About Liveport and HIS (Hotel Internet Services)
Liveport is a full solution provider for secure wired and wireless internet services, all supported with 24×7 guest service monitoring and support. Via a partnership with Liveport and HIS (Hotel Internet services), BeyondTV services are available throughout the APAC region, with customers ranging from a diverse range of backgrounds including hotels, resorts, student housing, condos, and many other venues. For more information or to schedule a meeting with a Liveport representative, please visit www.liveport.com.au.
The first fully integrated hospitality streaming and casting solution, BeyondTV enables guests to have a complete in-home entertainment solution right in their hotel room. What Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV bring to the home, guests can now recreate in their hotel room with the added benefit of being able to avail themselves to hotel amenities and services. BeyondTV allows today’s travelers to view their own content on the TV whether it be Netflix, Amazon Prime or Spotify to name a few examples. Now equipped with voice control functionality via integration with Amazon’s Alexa, BeyondTV offers the ability to fully control all television functions using simple voice commands. With BeyondTV, guests can also use their voice to control guestroom systems such as thermostats and lighting, and can even make requests to find out specific hotel information or order room service.
With security in mind, the platform also is designed to ensure that users have complete peace-of-mind when transferring personal streaming account information. Each guestroom platform exists on its own private network so that sensitive guest information cannot be inadvertently shared or accessed by others. Once a guest checks out, all personal data is also automatically deleted. In order to provide guests with an even greater sense of security, BeyondTV also offers guests the option of deleting their information at any time with the click of a TV remote button. BeyondTV represents a major milestone in in-room entertainment.